Blessings of 2009

Posted in family, marriage, musing, raising children on December 31st, 2009 by Relishing Life — Be the first to comment!

There are so many things that I have to be thankful for!!!  As I look forward to the new year, I am overwhelmed with the abundance that we have.

Photo: annstheclaf

  • Our family is in good health with our little boys growing stronger and faster than I could ever imagine.
  • Our marriage has grown very strong over the past year with a deepening appreciation of and love for one another.
  • Our homeschooling adventure seems to be going well.
  • Our children are happy and enjoy life.
  • We are blessed with friends to share our ups and downs with.
  • We have been able to visit with our extended family who we do not live near.
  • We have more than enough to meet our needs.

Our family has been truly blessed!!

I hope that when you sit down to count your blessings you loose track as your blessings far exceed your ability to keep count!  May 2010 bless you with all of your heart’s desires and all of the beauties life has to offer!  Happy New Year!

The Invisible Woman

Posted in quote on December 30th, 2009 by Relishing Life — 2 Comments

By Nicole Johnson

It started to happen gradually.  One day I was walking my son Jake to school.  I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, “Who is that with you, young fella?” “Nobody,” he shrugged. Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, “Oh my goodness, nobody?”

I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family – like “Turn the TV down, please” – and nothing would happen. Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, “Would someone turn the TV down?” Nothing.

Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party. We’d been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, “I’m ready to go when you are.”  He just kept right on talking. That’s when I started to put all the pieces together. I don’t think he can see me. I don’t think anyone can see me. I’m invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?”  Obviously not. No one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.  I’m invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this?  Can you tie this? Can you open this?  Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?” I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?” I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30, please.”

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude –  but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.  She’s going she’s going she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.  It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package,  and said, “I brought you this.”  It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
* No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names.
* These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
* They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
* The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.” And the workman replied, “Because God sees.”

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.  It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life.  It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness.  It is the antidote to my strong stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see  finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it there.”

Focus

Posted in musing, personal, quote on December 29th, 2009 by Relishing Life — 3 Comments

Have you ever wondered what your life might have been like “if”?

Ahh, there are so many “ifs” in life! I ponder about the “what ifs” from time-to-time.  Instead of pining over what could-have-been, I am now focusing on what is to come.  If we don’t take the time to determine what we want out of life and set goals to get there, we will never reach our desired destination.  How sad it would be to never reach our goals simply because we never took the time to set forth on the path which we needed to follow to get there!  So the next time I find myself wondering where I would be if I had made different decisions in the past, I am going try to refocus that energy into creating and following a plan for developing a better me.

Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all your energies on a limited set of targets.

~Nido Qubein

Photo:  mydearDelilah

Thanksgiving Wishes

Posted in quote on November 16th, 2009 by Relishing Life — 1 Comment so far

Photo: Mike Licht

“Thanksgiving Wishes”

I wish you all that pen and ink
Could write, and then some more!
I hope you cannot even think
Of half you’re thankful for.

I hope your table holds a wealth
Of prime Thanksgiving fare,
And Love and Peace and Joy and Health
Will all be seated there.

I trust your guests will all be bright,
But none of them too wise,
And each will bring an appetite
For mince or pumpkin pies.

I hope the fowls will all be fat,
The cider sweet to quaff,
And when you snap a Wishbone, that
You’ll win the larger half!

~Arthur Guiterman

The Road Not Taken

Posted in musing, quote on November 13th, 2009 by Relishing Life — Be the first to comment!

Photo: ellenm1

“The Road Not Taken”

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost, 1915

Have you ever wondered what your life might have been like “if”?  Ahh, there are so many “ifs” in life!  I ponder about the “what ifs” from more often than I aught.  Instead of pining over what could-have-been, I am now focusing on what is to come.  If we don’t take the time to determine what we want out of life and set goals to get there, we will never reach our desired destination.  We also won’t be able to reach our destination if we are always looking behind instead of ahead and will miss all of the wonderful opportunities that lay in our path.

Thanksgiving

Posted in family, marriage, musing, personal, quote on November 12th, 2009 by Relishing Life — 2 Comments

“Thanksgiving”

Thank You
for all my hands can hold-
apples red
and melons gold,
yellow corn
both ripe and sweet,
peas and beans
so good to eat!

Thank You
for all my eyes can see-
lovely sunlight,
field and tree,
white cloud-boats
in sea-deep sky,
soaring bird
and butterfly.

Thank You
for all my ears can hear-
birds’ song echoing
far and near,
songs of little
stream, big sea,
cricket, bullfrog,
duck and bee!

~Ivy O. Eastwick

Photo: Lyubov

This poem echoes the song of my heart.  As we approach Thanksgiving Day, society places more focus on the blessings that we each have received.  I enjoy this time of year as extra care is taken in the contemplation of the gifts that we have been given.

Although times have been hard for us (like many families) financially this year, I am grateful that looking forward our monetary worries are less burdensome.  This allows me to be more focused on what is truly important in my life – my family!

We have been blessed by some very awesome friends!  There isn’t a day that goes by that don’t thank God for the terrific people that He has brought into our lives.  We are able to share both tears and celebrations with them.  I hold them very dear in my heart.

My family is what I am most thankful for this year.  Our marriage has strengthen through our difficulties.  Our bond, when tested, has quivered but held-steadfast.  There are many times when marriage seems more of a detriment than the wonderful spiritual bond that it is meant to be.  But through the turmoil, strife and strain,  our love continues to deepen and our commitment to one another preservesOur two little boys are the light of my life! God blesses me daily with their beautiful smiles and giggles.  The four of us make up our cozy, little family.  Spending time together as a family is one of my favorite times!

There are so many things that I am thankful for this year!

What are you thankful for?

Who’s In Charge?

Posted in raising children on October 6th, 2009 by Relishing Life — 2 Comments

Who is the Mommy???

Sometimes I think that the boys forget that I am the mommy.

I know that the power struggles are inevitable, but they grow so tiring!  I try my best to remain strong and be in charge.  They try so hard to wear me down.  Unfortunately, sometimes, they succeed.  As hard as the power struggles can be, they are worth it.  In the long run, the kids are learning to respect authority while not mindlessly following someone (at least I hope that is what they are learning!!).

What is Marriage?

Posted in marriage, musing on September 26th, 2009 by Relishing Life — 1 Comment so far

Marriage is more than just a promise to be with someone.

Photo: SuperSizeMe

It is the moment-to-moment re-commitment to do what is best for both of you even if you don’t like what needs to be done because you love the other person and are willing to work to have the best relationship possible.